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The Introvert’s Guide to an Exciting and Fulfilling Love Life

The Introvert’s Guide to an Exciting and Fulfilling Love Life

Sooner or later, we all fall in love with our own Mr. Darcys and Jane Eyres. “Shrined in double retirement”, deeply immersed in their fictional universes and lovingly shy with their captivating words, introverts are the most beautiful beings among highly sensitive people.

Being misunderstood for a pompous fellow, Mr. Darcy explains his inner turmoil with a mutter: “I certainly have not the talent which some people possess, of conversing easily with those I have never seen before.”

The thrilling face of love doesn’t come easily to persons in hiding. Even if it does appear from thin air, which is a miraculous rarity, reading its signs and responding appropriately is emotionally draining. Unique and individualistic as they are, introverts rather draw their blinds and read on.

And it’s perfectly fine! As an extroverted guy, I laugh loudly and shout my arguments, but my eyes are always drawn to a girl quietly drawing cityscapes on her beer glass in the corner. I’ve known many introverts in my life, and all of them have delighted me with their emotional depths, their windowsill contemplations and their remarkable minds.

To all of you sensitive souls in search of affection and meaning, here’s what I’ve learned from my beautifully introverted friends and their challenges of living an exciting and fulfilling love life.

A Frightening Delight of A Meeting Place

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    Beer pong might be fun, but feeling the evening breeze on your skin is simply electrifying. Miles Davis is endlessly smoother when experienced from your kitchen carpet, and so are Faulkner and Richard Linklater. There’s nothing as wonderful as an introverted soul and the way it projects itself into arts, thoughts and serenity. The only problem is – there’s no one around to share your stellar visions with.

    A line between seclusion and loneliness is thin and infinitely confusing, and once revealed, the need for someone to love and understand your solitary meditations starts to grow with every page. The question of where to meet and how to approach them becomes essential. Here are a couple of ideas.

    The Outskirts of a Party

    Undoubtedly, parties and other equally crowded social events are not exactly your cup of tea. They’re cramped places full of empty chatter that always deepen your reticence and make you wish you were comfortably alone for the evening. They are far beyond your comfort zone, and for the time being, they should be. (Un)fortunately, it’s the only way of meeting your kin, and you can be sure that each party has at least two.

    If joining a roaring argument or starting a conversation with extroverts is simply too overwhelming, check out the hiding places – usually, there’s a fellow loner on the outskirts eager to escape the room and rush off home. Offer them a smile and they would most likely understand. Soon enough, you’ll find yourself noiselessly talking about what really matters.

    The Soulmate Club

    “Introverts tend to be slow to warm up to people enough to connect. Seeing people over and over and sharing a common interest provide easier entry into conversation than just going to a party or bar where you have to jump in with both feet right away”, explains Sophia Dembling, author of the book Introverts in Love: The Quiet Way to Happily Ever After.

    And if you think about it really hard, Dembling has a point. Starry nights and silent wonders might be only things powerful enough to move you, but there are certainly others who share your love for world’s simple pleasures. Decide what interest you the most, and look around for a class, course or a club you can join. Finding a person with that one, but significant mutual interest might prove as unexpectedly fulfilling and ultimately lead to a deep and genuine connection.

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    The Joe Fox & Kathleen Kelly Story

    After all, romance can be found in the most mundane of places, and all it takes is a little effort on your part. As daunting as it may be, approaching other people is the only way of communicating your magnificent inner self – even though introverted, you have no reason of being unconfident about your passions and beliefs, and the lack of courage is the only obstacle standing in your way.

    If immediate interactions make you hesitant and clumsy, try exploring Tinder and similar dating scenes in the online environment. Apart from removing the initial dread of having to make eye contact, these dating apps will actually allow you to think before responding and give you a little time to express the real you. Each day you get to “like” a few people and get a few likes back yourself, and the occasional Tinder super like will always bring a smile to your face and and open up some magnificent possibilities.

    Online communication might remove so much of your conversational blocks, and if you do stumble upon a person you like in the real life, consider talking to them via social media first. That way, your shyness won’t seem as obvious as usual.

    From Candlelit Dinners to Eternity

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      Once you’re comfortably cuddled in the arms of the sleepy person beside you, try not to fear. As always, personality conflicts might appear, but there’s nothing a little conversation can’t solve. I’ve learned that introverts have an especially hard time adapting to the hectic dynamic that partnerships often spur, but I’ve also learned that when two people are equally mature, reasonable and caring, sitting in silence can be a blissful daydream. Here’s some advice on how to communicate with talkative and light-hearted partner.

      Coffee, Cigarettes & Conversations

      Intimate dates are your chance to shine.

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      “Introverts tend to be most comfortable in one-on-one situations where they don’t have to compete for attention,” claims Dembling, “They can be good conversationalists if they’re with someone who gives them the space to respond and shows interest in their interests.”

      The fact that filler conversations come boring and exhausting to you is only a sign of your profound personality, and you shouldn’t feel bad about avoiding them. Instead of pretending to care about superficial matters, propose an idea that occupies your brooding mind and see what happens. If a person sitting beside you is mature enough to enjoy an in-depth conversation, there’s an opportunity for you to make a strong connection and eventually open up.

      The Privilege of Solitary Growth

      Even the most extroverted of people need their alone time. Only in quiet moments of solitude we can see ourselves for who we really are and replenish those life juices so important for fuelling our relationships.

      It’s a privilege every soul-searching person is entitled to, and those who don’t understand the significance it has for our inner fulfilment are simply not eligible for developing a joint identity yet. As a stargazing introvert, you probably need these moments to be slightly longer, and explaining that to your significant other might be a challenge.

      Instead of retreating emotionally, offer a simple argument to justify your case – rather than an insult to your lover, your “me” time is a perfectly natural need for reflection and self-improvement, and as such, it betters you both as an individual and a partner.

      But being an important need for your spiritual and intellectual growth, you will have to understand, respect and meet the opposing needs of your partner in return. If squeezing their way out of the teeming clubs is their idea of evening fun, try to meet them in the middle and join their outdoorsy escapades as often as your peace-seeking nature allows you.

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      Explain, Retreat & Resolve

      It’s well known and confirmed in my experience that introverted people are not exactly the most triumphant of fighters. In fact, conflicts probably make you immensely passive-aggressive as well, but unfortunately, the one thing you will not be able to avoid in your relationship are arguments.

      Perhaps it’s for the best to set some ground rules early on and practice them along the way – only by staying clear-minded and retaining control, you’ll be able to voice your opinions and state your problems directly and clearly enough. And since you always need a silent moment to regroup your strengths and gather your thoughts, start off with that.

      Talk to your partner about the way you talk, explain that your ponderous silence is not a way of turning them off, but a method that helps you verbalize your emotional response, and ask for a little patience. And if misunderstanding is still unsolvable, don’t stay in a relationship in which you’ll be lonely, instead of having someone to be alone with.

      “Solitude matters, and for some people it’s the air they breathe,” says Susan Cain, author of Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking.

      Having a little courage, empathy and patience is the best way of finding someone to share that nectarous air with.

      Featured photo credit: https://unsplash.com/photos/GxAhDWN8M7A via pexels.com

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      Nemanja Manojlovic

      Editor at MyCity Web

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2018

      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

      How to Overcome Your Irrational Fears (That Stop You from Succeeding)

      She could hear her beautiful baby crying but was frozen in the doorway unable to move. The crying got worse and she knew that unless she comforted the infant soon the baby would be inconsolable, and yet her feet wouldn’t move. She didn’t look at the cot but the floor in front, where the venomous hairy monster sat before her…. .okay it was a UK spider so not likely to kill her at all, and yet still her body was frozen as the tears fell down her face. “What a useless mother you are” she berated herself.

      That awful mother was me 14 years ago. My fear of spiders had not been controlled for years and I was at the stage where I wouldn’t open a newspaper until my husband had read it and removed the images of spiders. I hated houses that had wooden floors or skirting boards because every knot in the wood could be a spider about to crawl across me.

      At the height of my fear, I tried to get out of a moving car. Clearly this harmless 8-legged creature had massive levels of power over me but now that fear is gone, I’m never going to love spiders but I’m not going to leave the room because of one and I can read the word without freaking out and sobbing.

      If you think that fear is irrational, what about the fear of going to airports? Or the fear of not asking for help?

      Today I want to look at how our irrational fears impact on us, how they can destroy (and I don’t use that word lightly) our success. They can damage our health and even stop us from living our lives. And then I’ll share the benefits of fighting that fear and most importantly how you can fight your fears too.

      How irrational fears impact your life

      The thing about irrational fears is that we are not keen to look at them. It makes us feel inadequate, weak and daft because we can’t do things that it seems everyone else can. That gives the fear power.

      Fear loves negative emotions and saps up yours making your fear bigger and uglier and even more powerful. Not ideal to say the least. Fears can cause us to:

      • Avoid situations where that fear may have to be faced. Dodging parties, new jobs, new experiences where we aren’t sure we will be able to protect ourselves.
      • Stop us from sleeping for fear the thing we fear will “get us in the night.” For me this was massive, and I stopped sleeping which had massive implications when my job was to look after a toddler and a baby. I felt half dead most of the time!
      • Feel ill with the stress. Stress can be the cause of wrong decisions. Drinking alcohol when we shouldn’t, eating chocolate because it makes us feel better, the list of excuses is long that we hold on to so that we can avoid the cause of our stress.
      • Cause more distress as our minds overload us with negative thoughts of inadequacy. This can damage our confidence. Having coached thousands, I know that a lack of confidence is usually the underlining impactor on most people’s success across all areas of their lives.
      • Risk looking aloof or arrogant because we won’t participate like other people. Our fears can even isolate us in our personal and professional lives too.
      • Feel debilitated. Needless to say, these fears may look irrational and shouldn’t exist to the outside world but to the sufferer they are debilitating. Even impacting on their earning potential, love life, hobbies, travels and personal and professional success.

      Why bother to fight the fear

      Couldn’t you just ensure you live your life in way that you don’t have to deal with your fear?

      I had a client that was so scared of flying that they couldn’t even take their partner to the airport, another who had avoided public speaking for over 20 years and yet now at the height of their profession they had no choice, what were they going to do? Quit? There was another who could never ask for help and another who feared people finding out who they really were.

      All these fears and many more can be fixed but only if we can appreciate the benefits of fighting the fear.

      Let’s look at the benefits of fighting your fears:

      If you’re going to change the way you do something, something that has impacted on your life, thoughts and actions for years, it can be hard to believe change is possible.

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      The first thing you must do is give yourself a big enough reason why. Go back through your life and remember all the occasions that this fear was there.

      I can still see the spider trapped in my hair because it had obviously been on my hairdryer. I also remember that I probably looked ludicrous in the South of France in my underwear running down the lane screaming and flinging my hair everywhere. The poor spider had not only been flung a long way from my head but was probably destroyed in the flight.

      Remember the feelings, the actions, the negative feelings you felt afterwards, for me it meant that every time I picked up a hairdryer I could see a spider crawling towards my ear in my hair. Guess how helpful that was for reinforcing my reactions and irrational fear?

      Really experience the fear. Make it so painful that you probably notice your heart racing, your shoulders drawing up and your breath changing. That fear is causing physical change in your body, doesn’t feel good does it?

      When the irrational fear is challenged and destroyed, it can’t have power over you. So new opportunities can come your way and instead of fearing them and what people will think of you for your choices, you can be open to;

      • New hobbies
      • New travels
      • New opportunities
      • More success
      • Financially more secure
      • Happier
      • Healthier
      • Confident

      The list is long so what can you do to get rid of your fears?

      How to fight your irrational fears

      In my book Fight the Fear: How to Beat Your Negative Mindset and Win in Life, I cover 12 of the biggest fears that I see impact on success and happiness. Not all of these are obvious but they all have far reaching impacts on our lives.

      Here are some of those ideas to help you fight your fear and get more of what you want out of life:

      Why did this happen?

      For some people they really need to know why the fear started, for others all they want is to get rid of it. If you need to understand yours then don’t skip this tip. Learn how your fears are made and appreciate where yours came from. If you don’t care how it arrived, you can jump to top tip 2.

      I’ve seen some clients who are not prepared to look at how to get rid of the fear until they’ve understood how it got here in the first place. It’s not my place to tell them that is right or wrong, just to help them find the right steps to lead them to a happy path.

      When a fear first starts, we don’t acknowledge a fear has entered our lives. It is only after a few occasions that we begin to notice that there’s a strong negative emotion connected to this “thing”. That’s how fear is allowed to grow because as humans we have in-built responses that have kept us safe for our entire existence. This means we are meant to perceive fear and either run or fight, either way our bodies jump into action creating physical responses to the perceived threat.

      Look for when you first noticed the fast heart beat, the shallow breathing, the shaking hands, the redness. You have created an automatic way of dealing with this fear. It could be that it felt sensible to fear this because you had an unhappy outcome, although it is usually the case that your head has the facts and your heart is not prepared to hear them as it creates a version of the event that is far scarier than it actually was.

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      Learning how to remove the emotions and feelings will help you to change your body’s response. The first time I fixed someone’s fear of public speaking, they told me that it physically closed their throat, I worried that was it possible with words to change our physicality? The answer was yes! With the tools and techniques I share below.

      The tool kit

      From the many people that have contacted me after reading Fight the Fear to my clients, I know for even myself creating a tool kit is a must. This is not a bag that you physically must haul everywhere. This is about learning tools that really resonate with you so that when you can feel the fear start to impact on you, you’ve got your kit ready to take it on.

      I don’t have the space in one article to share all of those tools so let’s visit a few:

      1. Why I’m awesome

      Creating a 2-page handwritten document of why you are awesome can help. This document will be packed with achievements, successes, overcoming adversity and all of those will be full of positive emotions, actions and feelings. It is not easy to write, and I get many messages telling me so however it is a powerful reminder that you can stand up and accomplish.

      2. Draw out your emotions

      Earlier we looked at how irrational fears can damage every aspect of our lives. If you were to follow the negative spiral down you can follow the positive spiral up again.

      I draw these individually for clients and with each action, thought or feeling we put an arrow between them. Each arrow is an opportunity to do something different. If we know that irrational fear is an automatic thought process, then we can start to see that we need to think, do or feel something different. Top tip 3 will help with that.

      3. Acknowledge that you need to change

      It’s not easy to change, and that is a belief that many hold. Top tip 4 could assist further, however for this tip, remember that when you want to do, think or feel differently, you’ve already achieved the first step and that is recognizing something must change (you don’t need to know what). But if you aren’t sure yet if there’s really something different you want to do, this story about Nancy may help you to figure it out.

      Then it’s about acknowledging it. That means not only accepting it but feeling that it is yours to take on and change.

      Then for 2 weeks, decide that you won’t allow the thought to be in your head. There are usually some negative thoughts allowed to fester in your head. At this stage, just say “No I’d like you to stop.” After 2 weeks choose a new thought that you would prefer to hear in your head, maybe “I can cope with situations that scare me” or “I am stronger than I know”.

      There will be times when you fail. Don’t berate yourself because that is another negative thought you are allowing your head to process. Just start again and at times like that have a read of your “Why I’m awesome list”.

      4. Choose your words carefully.

      I’ve heard many clients tell me that “It’s going to be hard to change” “I can’t remember a time in my life where I wasn’t petrified” or “This is a lot to ask”. Any thought that gives power to your fear takes away power from you to fight it. Therefore, choose how you word your goal to overcome your fear carefully.

      Think thoughts like “I remember when I achieved xxxx and that reminds me I’m far tougher and more capable than I give myself credit for”. (Take the xxx from your why I’m awesome document.)

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      5. Believe that you have the control power

      The only person that can control what we think and feel is us. I know it can feel like other people are impacting on us, however they can only do that if we give them permission to do so.

      If you really think about that for a moment, can you see that you have the right to think and feel anything you want right now? I’m certain you wouldn’t choose pain, fear or anxiety. So, what would you choose to think about your fear?

      6. Put up physical reminders

      Working one to one, I can find the fear, work through it and create a tool kit of thoughts, feelings and actions that will help them fight that fear and get rid of it. For some, they don’t need physical things to help them; others do.

      For example, the CEO who was petrified of public speaking but could handle a conference call with 300 without a second thought, imagined the microphone was a phone when they spoke in front of 400 people to help reinforce the positive thoughts and ideas we’d created.

      Or the client that always worried that they were an imposter and “someone else can do this better” pinned on their office wall a tag cloud of all the words that made up their “Why I’m awesome document”.

      So they had a daily reminder. They were the right one for the job and they could do it. These daily reminders all come down to one key point — help you to Hack the Habit Loop.

      What would be your visual clues to remind you that you can overcome this?

      7. Physical supports

      Music, environment and even smells can impact on us. Know the music that makes you feel alive and ready for anything. Try aromatherapy oils to feel positive and energised. Even choose your work environment or clothing to empower you.

      Changing these things is physical and giving yourself physical ideas to action can help power up your emotional state too.

      8. Don’t go it alone

      The fear to ask for help is very real (and has a whole chapter in my book) so I know people really struggle with this. The fact is we all need people. We are not insular by design and as such it can be tough to admit that you have a fear impacting on you.

      However, by sharing your fear with a trusted friend, colleague or loved one can mean that when you are feeling the fear. you can talk to someone. It could be that you share with them the contents of your tool kit and ask their permission to be added to it. That way they know what works for you and how to best support you.

      It’s not a sign of weakness to tell people about your fear. It takes massive levels of strength to say, “I have this fear, and I want to get rid of it.”

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      9. Get physical

      One of the reasons that a fear can escalate is because we have come to accept that response. Our body reacted in a certain way, once repeated the behaviour and it became a formed habit that was accepted.

      Challenging a fear can be done using our body too when we appreciate that fear is actually a reaction inside our bodies. We don’t need to understand where in our brains or what chemicals are racing through us to use our physicality to help us challenge our fears.

      When I was writing my book, the Cuddy Superhero pose was proved and disproved by various researchers around the world 3 times. Whether it’s real or not, the fact is the way we stand, the way we breathe and even the speed at which we speak can impact on us as well as those around us.

      If you have a fear of public speaking or a fear of people thinking you are stupid or a fear of what people are thinking you can look at how you speak, stand and move. If you compare these with people you deem confident and happy in these situations, how do you look? What can you learn?

      The research around placebo’s reinforces us that if it feels like it is working, then keep doing it! What could you use to help reinforce your power and fearlessness?

      A little fear can be good

      As someone famous once says:

      “It is not fear, it is performance energy.”

      Despite having an absolute hatred of public speaking 10 years ago, I now love an audience and yet I have a healthy level of fear. That level of fear says “Are you well prepared?” “Do you know your audience?” “Have you rested your voice?” “You really want to deliver to this audience what they need” And those thoughts are sensible.

      And just remember, it’s never ever too late to face your fear and do what you desire most! It’s even possible to start over your life no matter what stage of life you’re at. Here’s the proof:

      How to Start Over and Reboot Your Life When It Seems Too Late

      So as you reduce your fear, be aware of a good level of fear.

      Featured photo credit: Isaiah Rustad via unsplash.com

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